Believe it or not, in the 1970s, the Hemi Barracuda was considered an economy car. Then the third generation of the car caught fire on the racing circuit, and for obvious reasons.
It all began in 1970 proper, when racers Dan Gurney and Swede Savage tore up the track in modified ‘Cudas in the Trans-Am Series event. Plymouth unleashed a street version with a 340 cubic-inch engine torched by three two-barrel carburetors, after which Chrysler's French racing sect decided to man four Hemi ‘Cudas from 1970 to 1973. One of the steeds even took home four championships: three on the track and one in a hill-climb competition.
And the distinctly Smurf-ian make you see above? That's one of the increasingly rare 368 automatic hardtops that come off the line in the ride’s first production year. And it’s due to come under the hammer at the Mecum auction.
Hemi Cuda (3 images)
The color and the car were both intended to make an impression. That B5 Blue Metallic was the choice of the original owner. But the ride has since been given an all-stops-pulled restoration, starting with a warranty-replaced hemi engine and model-correct 727 TorqueFlite transmission and Sure Grip differential.
The interior leaves nothing to be desired, either. It’s appointed with power steering, power brakes and a wood-grain steering wheel, center console, wood-knob floor shifter, Ralleye dash cluster, bucket seats and push button AM radio. But most importantly, it’s all dressed in a matching custom blue.
Somewhere, Picasso is smiling.